The Sims 4’s Producer Explains Why Toddlers And Pools Were Cut



The Sims 4

Anyone who has been following the progress of The Sims 4‘s development has come across a bit of news about the game no longer launching with toddlers and swimming pools. Both features have been removed from the core game. Well, the game’s producer has come forward to explain why.

GameRanx managed to spot out a comment by The Sims 4 producer Graham Nardone, who dabbled into a rather long forum thread about the issue and decided to offer up this explanation as to why certain features are in the game and why others are not…

“You can’t weigh features by how much you want them in the game, you have to consider how many development resources it takes to create them. The tram? A couple of days from one of our FX guys and it’s finished… very low risk, very low complexity (using entirely existing tech), and adds a nice visual punch to the neighborhood. I can’t recall ever scoping against FX… they always have time to be adding more stuff.”

“Our FX folks submitted their own long list of things they wanted to work on because there wasn’t enough for them to do. Now, you can’t take the FX team and ask them to add pools to the game. They don’t have the work skills to do it; neither do I. Pools, toddlers… they’re extremely complex features that require months of man hours of work across multiple disciplines and introduce significant risk.”

Pools? Months of man hours? Are they completely redoing all the pool animations or something? The design procedures just makes no sense, given that unless something has been completely overhauled (and as Nardone admits, some of the stuff is using existing tech that allows them to add in features seamlessly) then why remove them or prevent them from being implemented along with tons of other returning features from The Sims 3?

Graham tries to put it off on other more complicated workflow procedures that prevented the features from making a return.

It’s almost starting to turn into a Casey Hudson situation all over again (that’s only something Mass Effect fans will understand).

On the upside, at least he kept his story consistent as far as trams go. SimsVip caught wind of a tweet from Graham that explained that the trams and boats were not interactive in the game, so the art team that put together those assets did not have to interact with the teams that apparently handle animation systems or game mechanics that affect interactivity.

To this end, Nardone states that…

“If we were to have added one of those to the game, there would have been two choices for us… cut many small features, or cut one other significantly large feature.”

GameRanx properly points out that toddlers and swimming pools are likely to return as expansion packs. Many of the forum goers point out the exact same thing.

It’s funny because we see Valve and EA both taking very different routes in how they’re evolving in the gaming industry, with one growing and gaining tons of support from the community, while the other is faltering and constantly in the news with negative press swarming around their every decision.

Other companies have taken notice of how Valve has earned lots of respect from gamers by being respectful to game culture and that’s why companies like CD Projekt RED are growing in their own way by following in a similar example. Heck, even Ubisoft renounced old ways of always-on DRM (though uPlay still sucks donkey butt). Sadly, EA would likely go bankrupt before changing course.